For the second consecutive year, Act Global acted as the official synthetic turf sponsor for the Homeless World Cup, which was held this year in Glasgow, Scotland.
Glasgow’s famous George Square was transformed into a street soccer venue for the 14th annual event, with three artificial turf pitches, seating for 3,500 spectators, music and more. Thousands of spectators turned out each day from July 10 to 16, while more than 3 million people streamed the matches online.
Chris Clapham, co-owner of Act Global, who attended the games in Glasgow this month, said:
It is a privilege to be a Homeless World Cup sponsor, and witness the impact the organisation has on players and communities around the world. The event demonstrates the positive influence of sports and its ability to change lives. Through sports, we can improve not only physical health, but confidence, communication, dedication, responsibility and self-esteem, too.
As players take the pitch for their respective countries, there is much more at stake than just winning a game. Often players are breaking down barriers – from socially excluded backgrounds, long-term mental health issues, family breakdowns, addictions and homelessness – to get to where they are today. When a homeless person gets involved in sports, they build relationships, become teammates, have a responsibility, and feel that they are part of something larger than themselves.
Clapham said that supporting the cause aligns with the company’s mission to positively impact social change. Act Global also supports outreach efforts such as CARE, sponsoring mission trips and World Vision Micro Loans.
Being able to help people and bring about change are the most rewarding parts of our work.
An estimated 100 million people are homeless worldwide, and as many as 1 billion lack access to suitable housing. Of past Homeless World Cup participants, 94 percent have said that the event positively impacted their life and 83 percent improved relationships with families and friends.
Mel Young, co-founder and President of the Homeless World Cup, said:
The sense of empowerment that comes from participating in street football can help individuals envision change in their lives. To have these brand new playing surfaces has meant so much to the Homeless World Cup and to the players.
The turf system selected, called Xtreme Turf, features a highly durable yarn pile and a curled thatch layer from Bonar Yarns, which remains upright and resilient without infill applied. It is ideal for event use, as it offers a durable, consistent, all-weather surface, with little maintenance required. The system was expertly installed by Malcolm Construction over a Sekisui Alveosport pad, to offer excellent shock absorption and uniform performance throughout the tournament.
The Games wrapped up July 16, with Mexico Men and Women crowned champions for the second successive year.
Photo credits: Jeff Holmes / Homeless World Cup
About the Homeless World Cup
The Homeless World Cup is a unique, pioneering social movement, which uses football to inspire homeless people to change their own lives.
The Homeless World Cup 2016 took place in Glasgow’s George Square from July 10 to 16.
For more information, visit: www.homelessworldcup.com
Sports Turf will be among the focuses for our annual Stadia & Arena Asia Pacific conference and exhibition being held at the Yokohama Arena this September, 26-28. Check out the Preliminary Conference Program online at: www.saevents.uk.com and make sure to guarantee your place at this must-attend event for those working in the global sports venue design/build, management, operation and technology sector.